Airline asks two strangers to share a hotel room with one bed

A major airline is being asked to apologise after it assigned a 71-year-old cancer patient a hotel room with a stranger after their international flight was delayed.

Elizabeth Coffi Tabu was set to fly home to France from Ottawa, Canada July 19, via a connecting flight in Montreal. But the first leg was delayed, causing the elderly woman to miss her connecting Air Canada flight, her daughter told local media.

She was grounded overnight, so the airline agent told her that there was only one hotel room available, and she would have to share it with a man half her age, whom she did not know, according to her daughter Jerryne Mahele Nyota.

Jerryne Mahele Nyota demanded Air Canada book her elderly mother a new room, claiming the woman was told to spend the night with a man she did not know after a delayed flight. Source: CBC

When the pair arrived at the hotel, there was only one bed, so the man offered to sleep on the couch, Ms Mahele Nyota told CBC News.

"I told her, 'No, you don't sleep with a total stranger. No, don't do that. Stay there and I'm going to do what I can to find a solution’.

"The guy was also shocked. He said, 'But I don't know her,' [and] my mum said, 'I don't know the guy’," Ms Mahele Nyota recounted.

The persistent daughter made a lengthy phone call to Air Canada, who eventually booked her mother a room at another hotel, she told CBC.

A formal complaint has been lodged to Air Canada demanding an apology and investigation into how the error could have happened. Source: Reuters

The woman is concerned about other vulnerable passengers being treated like her mother, and has filed a formal complaint with the airline, demanding an apology.

Following the hotel debacle, Ms Mahele Nyota said Air Canada offered her mother a seat with more leg room for the following day’s flight, and $20 ($AU29) food vouchers, but that wasn’t good enough.

Air Canada confirmed to CBC it was looking into the matter. In a statement to the news outlet, a spokesperson reportedly said: "It is not our policy to ask passengers to share a room."

The airline was also asked to explain last month, after a young woman claims she was locked onboard a plane after falling asleep on a flight.


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